Adventures in Recruiting [REPOST]
As you all know from the flashlight hanging on the walls, weekly e-mails about new hires, and company meetings dedicated to the fact—we are in a recruiting spree. I very much applaud the effort to get more Level 2 and 3 employees and build them up. People with the skill-sets we look for are rare and in demand, so creating our own base for the future is an admirable effort. It also helps that almost everyone I know and am recruiting is in that age/experience bracket.
Before we get too far, thanks to Matt Fisher for the shout outs last issue in getting Ming Zhang hired as the first person in the recruiting effort. Also, I would be remiss to send congratulations to editor of this esteemed paper Lindsay Hoag for taking the lead over me in flashlights this week. Nice work there.
Getting a hire in here is actually a long, time-consuming, and often energy draining project. Pat Lehner and I have been collaborating for months about who we think would make a good recruit, talking to them, teaching them about the company, and getting a few through the door. To date, we have had four people interview, three offers extended, and one person brought on as a full hire. All and all, I would say that that is a fair number and decent accomplishment. Do we want more? Of course we do! And it’s not just the fabulous prizes we are after.
Pat and I spend a great deal of time talking about company culture and how we would like to shape it. We know the type of people we want to see work here, and we know what life is like on the road. No one can better explain to a new recruit what we do and what this lifestyle is all about. There is a certain mindset that can handle the travel, put in the hours, and balance their individual lives. In all honesty, most people cannot do it and we have to be realistic about it. But knowing that up front does not limit the pool, but makes the few remaining a much better option.
With all of that in mind, Pat and I both attended our friends’ Zishan and Kaete’s wedding back on July 21st. As it so happened, this wedding was filled with a large number of fellow Babson alumni, many of who we considered potential recruits (sorry Bentley people, but you know how we think). This was a rare opportunity as far as we were concerned, and used the time to talk up the company, gauge interest, and begin (or end) the process for many people. Maybe we went a little too far at times (when I told Zishan the concept for this article, he said that he deserved a cut for anyone we recruited at his wedding), but it was a chance that could not be missed.
Perhaps that is what Matt and the rest of the recruiting team are talking about: making recruiting everyone’s job. The people we bring in do help shape the future of this company and set the tone for what it means to work at Palladium. Maybe we are not executives, but we have a vision for the future and know the types of people who can work here. We want to be surrounded by people who embrace the life and want to learn, yet have totally different experiences, expectations, understandings, and views than our own. Even how Pat and I view and live our lives is quite different, despite being good friends of many years. But we embrace those differences and look for perspectives outside our own in many of the recruits.
The bottom line is: there is a sea of possibilities out there, but we need to be serious about the next few months. The type of people we bring on will shape the culture and future of this organization for years to come. People walking through the door today with no knowledge may be the experts we depend on in the future or perhaps even something more.
So best of luck out there, and don’t be afraid to try anything, talk to anyone, and see what people have to offer. You never know what someone can develop into, or who will end up at the top of the heap…
From left to right: Ming Zhang, JP Prag, and Pat Lehner celebrating another successful recruiting effort at their friends’ wedding.